FTC: Scammers impersonate celebrities on social media

Posted at 10:25 AM, Aug 08, 2018
and last updated 2019-05-02 09:59:03-04

While it may be exciting when your favorite celebrity follows you on social media or even reaches out to you, are you sure it's really that person? 

The Federal Trade Commission is warning fans of con artists posing as celebrities on social media to scam people out of money. 

Scammers are apparently asking fans to send money for different reasons, including "claiming a prize, donating to a charity, or giving help of some kind," according to the FTC. 

Here are a few tips if a celebrity contacts you via social media and asks for money: 

  • Slow down. Before you send money, talk with someone you trust.
  • Do some research: search online for the celebrity’s name plus “scam.” Do the same with any charity or cause they’re asking you to support—and learn more about charity scams here.
  • Never send money, gift cards or prepaid debit cards to someone you don’t know or haven’t met – even celebrities you meet on social media.
  • If you sent money to a scammer, contact the company you used to send the money (your bank, wire transfer service, gift card company, or prepaid debit card company). Tell them the transaction was a fraud. Ask the company to reverse the transaction, if it’s possible.
  • Report your experience to the social media site and to the FTC.

For more information on imposter scams, click here

Also, check out this guide on what to look out for when dealing with charity donations, online fraud and hoaxes.